July 16th, 2024

We are a country in conflict as Canada Day approaches

By Lethbridge Herald on June 29, 2024.


United we stand, divided we fall. 

It’s a phrase we’ve often heard and one which may be appropriate to consider as Canada Day approaches on Monday. While it’s often asociated with American politics, the origins of the phrase dates back thousands of years to the Greek storyteller Aesop.

A song of the same name which was released in 1970 and was a hit in numerous countries is often used as an anthem to promote unity with the lyric “for united we stand, divided we fall, And if our backs should ever be against the wall, We’ll be together, together, you and I.”

Canada is divided but whether we fall will depend on how we as Canadians address with the circumstances facing us today.

Canada is dealing with many challenges – a housing emergency, inflation, food insecurity, opioid crises everywhere, climate change and its impact on many aspects of our daily lives, and of course, high fuel prices and a carbon tax whose value nobody can seem to agree upon.

And we have conflicts still on human rights issues involving our Indigenous and LGBTQ populations.

In Alberta, we have a government that has raised numerous concerns about its interest in creating an Alberta pension plan, we are dealing with physician shortages and there are serious concerns about the direction our health care system is being taken. There are growing problems about the quality of care many elderly are getting in our province’s long-term care homes.

The Alberta government has also created controversy – valid or not – with its planned Bills 18 and 20.

Canada is a country in turmoil and it’s hard to be enthusiastic about a day in which Canadians are supposed to feel unified and feel proud of the country in which they live and the communities they call home. Canada is not united, it is a country in the midst of a national crisis of conflict. Millions on Monday will indeed celebrate Canada Day by enjoying activities with their families, watching  evening fireworks and reveling in a much-needed long weekend.

But come Tuesday those who had Monday off will be facing a sobering reality if they consider how deeply divided Canada is right now.

That division is nothing to celebrate because right now, as the song says, we have our backs against the wall. 

But if Canada will ever once again be a country  for every resident to celebrate, we all have to come together to make that happen.

That means putting differences aside and working together to build unity. 

We need our political leaders from municipal to federal to make concerted efforts to rebuild trust in government, that trust which often no longer exists at all levels in this country. United we stand? Possibly in the future. But not right now.

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we have always been divided – ask first nations; ask visible minorities in general; ask females; ask gay and those with “non-traditional” identities (1969 was the year being a male gay was lifted from our criminal code…but that did not stop discrimination, harassment, marginalisation); ask the english and every other non pure laine quebecois in quebec; ask the working poor and the ultra wealthy; ask those that control and are in the pockets of our govts and those that cannot get a word in or any real measure of representation from their govts. we always have had divisions. perhaps the primary difference now as compared to historically is that pretty much everything that gets reported now is portrayed as to the degree of hysterics, as yellow journalism and lack of honest and indepth reporting and black and white mindsets have come to be the social conditioning norm.


i understand the negs here come from those that have enjoyed a solid middle class and higher income standard, and are of the dominant culture. and, they are the silent majority – not a thought to share, but i suppose a lot of justification narrative brews within their exalted selves.

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